Prayers for Florida shooting victims and their families

Our hearts and prayers go out to all the victims of the terrible school shooting in Parkland, Florida. We grieve with our nation as we mourn the loss of innocent life – once again the result of hatred that can so easily grip the human heart and lead to such tragic violence. We stand with the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives, we pray for their eternal rest, and we remember those who have been injured both physically and emotionally that God’s healing grace will touch their hearts and bring them strength and peace. Each of us as a good neighbor must be vigilant in caring for those around us, in pointing out the signs of those who are acting strangely. Don’t be silent; don’t be afraid to notify authorities; don’t wait until it is too late and then wish you had said something earlier. Sadly, in our country we have lost our core values of decency and respect for others – especially those we might disagree with. We are all brothers and sisters, made in the image and likeness of God. There is no place in our hearts as Christians and as Americans for hatred, bigotry, prejudice, name-calling, vitriol, bullying, or discrimination. These are things that lead to violence and we must do all we can to teach our children and young people to respect others, to love their neighbor, treat others as we would hope to be treated ourselves. This has to be a big part of the solution we are all trying to find in the face of such a senseless tragedy.